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[31] to take care of the ships in ordinary. So that this ship, donated to the Government to run down the “Merrimac,” if the “Monitor” would get out of the way, was, without accomplishing that object, an expense to the Government of three times the original cost of the “Monitor.”

I mention these facts, not to detract from the merit of Cornelius Vanderbilt's patriotic gift, but to exemplify the greater value of the little “Monitor” of John Ericsson for naval purposes, and the reason why the Navy Department declined to purchase the Vanderbilt, Illinois, and other immense steamers that were pressed, by influential persons, by the press, and by interested parties, upon the Navy Department and the Government. The War Department, taking a different view, bought the Illinois for four hundred thousand dollars ($400,000). The Illinois, by the way, has never had a day's sea-service since the War Department purchased her, and will never pass Sandy Hook.

The “Monitor,” which rendered such gallant service to the country, and was the progenitor of a class of vessels that is to be found in the navy of almost every maritime nation, was foundered on the 30th of December, 1862, in a storm off Cape Hatteras.

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